Prairie Spirit Grand Adventure: Explore America's West as you travel through the vast landscapes of our beautiful country. Enjoy the stunning beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota and venture into Wyoming's Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park on this amazing adventure.
Journey to Mount Rushmore and renew your patriotism as you take in the majestic 60-foot faces of four of our U.S. presidents standing as a symbol of American Democracy. Gaze at the fifth face that has emerged in the Black Hills, Crazy Horse Memorial, which is the largest sculptor undertaking anywhere in the world and a tribute to the Native American hero. Take a step back in time with a narrated ride on a 1880's train. Watch for America's first National Mammal, the majestic American Bison, roaming free on the plains of the Wildlife Loop in the rolling grasslands of Custer State Park. Hold onto your hats and head into the hills for a Buffalo Safari. Sip a cup of 5 cent coffee and enjoy that infamously advertised free cup of "ice" water at the nostalgic Wall Drug and be prepared to get lost in the layers of beauty and ruggedness of South Dakota's Badlands National Park.
Stroll through Rapid City, the "City of Presidents" and Main Street Square as it comes alive at our Main Street Square "Summer Nights" where you'll enjoy local fare, brews and live music. Experience South Dakota's wild west in the old mining town of Deadwood, which is the resting place of outlaws such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Try your luck at a card table, slot machine or belly up to the bar at the Saloon.
Venture into the "Cowboy state" of Wyoming and experience the wide-open spaces where cows outnumber people 3 to 1 and take a stroll around Teddy Roosevelt's first appointed National Monument, Devils Tower National Monument, a true natural phenomenon, you will be amazed.Experience some of the most recognizable features and history Yellowstone National Park has to offer, including Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful Geyser. Enjoy the stunning beauty and keep a look out for adundant wildlife. Venture into Grand Teton National Park where the spectacular rich landscape and magestic mountains will take your breath away.
Revel in our first class service, from complimentary snacks and water to wine and beer included at dinner. Delight in the knowledge, passion and experience of your local Tour Directors and their enthusiasm for this area of our country. Sit back and relax in our modern, comfortable Motor Coach with a skilled professional drivers and sink into bed each night in clean comfortable hotels along the way.
Re-connect and renew your patriotism and be prepared to have a journey of a lifetime.
We have carefully planned each fun-filled day with numerous outstanding destinations, unbelievable photo ops, local meals and amazing sightseeing opportunities! Your typical day will start around 8:00 a.m. and will usually return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Activity Level: Moderate
This is a moderately paced tour, with frequent stops and opportunities to set your own pace. You can choose to walk a few miles each day or enjoy yourself while people watching on a bench. Up to 2 miles per day of walking, standing and using stairs is standard. You should be in good health and able to keep pace.
Day 1- Rapid City, South Dakota (D) (Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza or similar)
Welcome to Prairie Spirit Grand Adventure Tour! Join us at your hotel beginning at 6:00 p.m. where you will meet your fellow travelers, Tour Director and prepare for your big adventure! Welcome Dinner follows at 7:00 p.m.
Day 2- Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore &1880's Train, Keystone to Hill City (B,D)
Today’s adventure begins with a journey into the Black Hills and to the colossal Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest carving and an impressive work in progress. Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest sculptural undertaking ever. In 1939 when Mt. Rushmore was nearing its completion, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve an Indian memorial in the Black Hills to represent Native American heroes, a challenge that Ziolkowski accepted in 1948 and which continues by his children and grandchildren to this day. Crazy Horse Memorial draws well over one million visitors a year and when completed will be several times larger than Mt. Rushmore.
The journey continues through the scenic backdrop of the Black Hills to a true shrine of Democracy, Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
The majestic 60-foot faces of four U.S. presidents gaze over South Dakota’s Black Hills. Recognized worldwide, they stand as a symbol of American democracy. This national treasure tells the story of the United States’ rich history, rugged determination and lasting achievement. From the Grandview Terrace take in the the spectacular views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln then walk the half-mile Presidential Trail that loops along the base of the mountain. Discover why the four presidents were selected, see how the mountain was carved and learn about sculptor Gutzom Borglum and the workers who brought Mount Rushmore to life.
Next, stroll the charming streets of the old 1880's mining town of Keystone, where you'll delight in old fashioned fudge, taffy and ice cream shops or find that perfect souvenir.
"All aboard!" Now board the 1880's train for a narrated 10-mile trip between Keystone and Hill City where you'll view vistas of Black Elk Peak, mining encampments and participate in good old-fashioned fun. Trains follow the original route of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad laid down in the late 1880’s to service the mines and mills between Keystone and Hill City.
Now relax, stroll down main street and peruse the many art galleries by local artisans and western shops in South Dakota's oldest city, known as the "Heart of the Hills," Hill City.
Day 3- City of Presidents, Custer State Park & Buffalo Safari (B,L,D)
Start the day with the Presidents as we tour historic downtown Rapid City, the "City of Presidents", where a series of life-size bronze statues of our nation’s former presidents reside along the city’s streets and sidewalks of downtown Rapid City.
The City of Presidents’ project began in 2000 with a vision to honor the legacy of the American presidency with the slogan “From the mountain to main street, you have seen four Presidents at Mount Rushmore. Now, come to Rapid City and see the rest of the family.” Rapid City has been named most patriotic best small town in the United States.
Off to where the Buffalo roam, Custer State Park, covering 71,000 acres, it is one of the largest state parks in the nation. Keep an eye out for the majestic bison during your Buffalo Safari. Through the beauty of the park, the tour will take you off-road with a trek through the park in an open-air Jeep. Along the way, your guides will share historical and educational facts about the park and wildlife and the largest publicly owned bison herds in the country. Keep on the lookout, you may also see mule and whitetail deer, pronghorn, burros, prairie dogs, coyotes, wild turkeys, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and golden eagles all sharing this magnificent habitat. Return through the Black Hills to Rapid City for dinner.
Day 4-Badlands, Wall Drug & Downtown Rapid City Summer Nights (B,L)
Today it’s time to head to the Badlands! Badlands National Park preserves 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in America. Without a doubt, a hidden gem in the National Park system. The unique beauty of the Badlands landscape is like no other, sightseers, as well as scholarly scientists, are attracted to the area for its astounding beauty and the opportunity to peek into an ancient world. And no trip to the Badlands would be complete without a stop at the infamous Wall Drug, which became known for offering free ice water to thirsty travelers in the 1930s and is today one of the top roadside attractions in the country, complete with souvenir shops filled with Black Hills Gold, Western wear, art and locally made fudge.
Thursday is here and that means downtown Rapid City's "Summer Nights"!
Rapid City's downtown comes alive with outdoor live entertainment featuring local musicians, a vibrant crowd with food vendors and beer tents. Grab a bite to eat from one of the delicious vendors and check out the heart of the city on the lawn at Main Street Square or choose from a variety of local restaurants, including the historic Rapid City Firehouse Restaurant, Brewery and Firehouse Cellars. Don't forget ice cream on a warm summer’s evening at the Silver Lining Creamery, which features fresh, small batch, premium ice cream.
Day 5- Deadwood, SD, Devils Tower & Sheridan, WY (B,L,D)
Today, ride off into the rugged wide open spaces and into "Cowboy Country" Wyoming. Enjoy the beautiful landscape and prairie lands of the Northern Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains to the infamous Deadwood and Devils Tower, ending the day’s journey in Sheridan, WY.
Enjoy a narrated tour of historic Deadwood where the discovery of gold in the southern Black Hills in 1874 set off one of the great gold rushes in America. In 1876, miners moved into the northern Black Hills. That’s where they came across a gulch full of dead trees and a creek full of gold and Deadwood was born.
The gold camp boomed into a town that played by its own rules, it attracted outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers along with the gold seekers. Wild Bill Hickok was one of those men who came looking for his fortune, but just a few short weeks after arriving, he was gunned down while holding a poker hand of aces over eights – forever after known as the Dead Man’s Hand. Today, after receiving world wide notoriety from events such as the nearby Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and HBO’s series, Deadwood, the town is once again booming with shops, casinos and pubs. Let loose as you walk in the footsteps of American legends through the streets of Deadwood.
Your journey continues into beautiful Wyoming where in 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower as our nation’s first National Monument. Seeing the Tower up close, you may be reminded of Steven Spielberg’s 1977 science fiction movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Walk around the base of the soaring, seemingly magical tower and imagine what the early Native Americans and pioneers must have thought when they first glanced at this spectacular, mammoth volcanic-like formation jetting from the wind swept prairie. See if you can spot one of the thousands of rock climbers who journey from across the world to scale this stunningly unique National Monument.
Overnight in Sheridan, WY (Holiday Inn or Hampton Property)
Day 6-Bighorn Mountains, Cody, WY (B,L,D) (Cody Hotel or Holiday Inn)
Enjoy the beautiful scenic drive as we cross the Big Horn Mountain range and wind our way through the beautiful countryside before arriving in Cody, WY. The Bighorn Mountains and the Bighorn National Forest in north-central Wyoming have been explored by some of Americas most famous pioneers, including Jim Bridger and Buffalo Bill Cody. It is land held sacred by the Cheyenne, Crow, Sioux, Arapaho, and Eastern Cheyenne Indians--a land of spilled blood on which Native Americans fought some of their most desperate battles against the U.S. Military. Arrive in Cody, WY in the early afternoon.
Enjoy dinner in the Old West historic town of Cody where you can choose from a variety of locally owned restaurants and types of cuisine.
Evening at your leisure. Some of the optional evening activities include: Cody Nightly Rodeo, Wild West Shoot-out in front of Irma hotel, the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Review or just simply experience the quaint historic Cowboy town and its main street's sights and sounds of the real American West.
Day 7-Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone, MT (B,L) (Holiday Inn, Gray Wolf Inn or Clubhouse Inn)
Visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The museum was founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of Col. William F. Cody. The BBHC is the oldest and most comprehensive museum of the West. The BBCW has extensive artifact collections housed in a world-class facility. The Center has grown from a log cabin in 1927 to a seven-acre building valued at $143 million today. The collections contain over 34,977 artifacts, 20,000 books, and 260,000 photo archives. The Center has five separate museums and a research library. The Whitney Gallery of Western art - established in 1958 and dedicated in 1959; the Buffalo Bill Museum - established in 1927 and dedicated in 1969; the Plains Indian Museum - dedicated 1969; The Cody Firearms Museum and Winchester Museum - dedicated in 1976; The Draper Museum of Natural History - dedicated in 2002; and The Harold McCracken Research Library - dedicated in 1980.
After the museum, we continue our travels following the north fork of the Shoshone river toward Yellowstone National Park on the scenic byway through the Wapiti Valley and then enter Yellowstone National Park via the East entrance traveling to Fishing Bridge and the Yellowstone Lake area.
Our continuing adventure takes us along the Yellowstone River to Hayden Valley, a favorite place to watch for animals including bison, elk, deer, once-in-a-while bear and birds such as osprey, eagles, Canada Geese, and pelicans. View the thermal features: Mud Pots, Sulfur Cauldron, and Dragon Springs. See the colors of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with its spectacular Upper and Lower waterfalls.
Continue on to Canyon Visitor's Center where you will learn about the geology, history and culture of the park through many interactive displays, time lines, maps and educational movies. Yellowstone National Park is known for having the most geothermal features in the world. Magnificent volcanic eruptions about 2 million years ago, then again 1.2 million years ago and again 640,000 years ago, occurred here creating the amazing backdrop of this unique landscape. After the enormous eruptions the park's present central portion collapsed, forming a 30-by-45 mile caldera, or basin. The magmatic heat powering those eruptions still exists today powering the park’s geysers, hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots.The waterfalls at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone highlight the boundaries of lava flows and thermal areas.
Enjoy the stunning beauty of the park as we make our way to West Yellowstone, MT.
Enjoy the rest of your evening just relaxing after our big day or explore and stroll through the town of West Yellowstone with its many restaurants, gift shops and museums. Dinner is at your leisure this evening.
Day 8-West Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful Geyser and Inn, Grand Teton National Park (B,L) (Jackson Lake Lodge Cabins)
Enjoy the morning drive from West Yellowstone toward the Old Faithful area as we follow along the Gibbon and Fire Hole rivers to Grand Prismatic Spring, one of the most recognizable features of the park. Next are the Fountain Paint pots. Here you will follow the boardwalk where you will have the opportunity to view all four of the different types of thermal features and more (mud pots, hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, steam vents, and bacteria mats) all within a 1/2 mile walk. Arrive at the Old Faithful area late-morning. Old Faithful Geyser is the world’s best-known and Yellowstone's most iconic geyser. Its eruption intervals have varied from 40 to 126 minutes. There are many boardwalks for you to explore the geyser basin all around Old Faithful. Old Faithful Visitor & Education Center features exhibits on hydrothermal features, life in extreme environments, and the Greater Yellowstone region's volcanic geology. The bookstore offers a variety of educational materials as well as Park-related merchandise. Information and maps regarding any Ranger programs, Ranger-led walks and talks are available at the information desk of the visitor center.
Take time to walk through the Historic Old Faithful Inn on your own or join the hotel expert for a tour of Old Faithful Inn.
Built during the winter of 1903-04, the Old Faithful Inn was designed by Robert Reamer. It is a masterpiece of rustic architecture reflecting the chaos of nature. The building is a rustic log and wood-frame structure with gigantic proportions. The lobby features a 65-foot ceiling, a massive rhyolite fireplace, and railings made of contorted Lodgepole pine. The Inn is a designated National Historic Landmark.
Depart the Old Faithful area in the afternoon for Grand Teton National Park. Travel from Yellowstone National Park through the south gate into Grand Teton National Park. Located at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Rockefeller Parkway connects Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The late conservationist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. made significant contributions to several national parks including Grand Teton, Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, and Virgin Islands.
Prepare to be awe struck by the beauty and serenity of Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Lake Lodge!
Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming. The park preserves a spectacular landscape rich with majestic mountains, pristine lakes and extraordinary wildlife. The abrupt vertical rise of the jagged Teton Range contrasts with the horizontal sage-covered valley and glacial lakes at their base, creating world-renowned scenery that attracts nearly four million visitors per year.
This evening at Jackson Lake Lodge, take a walk, swim in the outdoor heated pool, watch for wildlife, or just relax in the Grand Lobby or on patio while sipping a huckleberry mojito while experiencing the view of a lifetime!
Day 9-Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole and Jackson, WY, Farewell Dinner (D)
Self-paced day and choices are yours today!
1. Spend the entire day at Jackson Lake Lodge. Wake up when you want to, eat at your leisure, read a favorite book, swim in the outdoor heated pool, take a walk or hike, horseback ride or just relax and watch the ever-changing view of the Tetons from the Great Lobby of the Lodge.
2. Field trip via our motor coach with your Tour Director through Jackson Hole to the town of Jackson, WY. "Jackson Hole" as it's often called, refers to the whole area which is a 50 miles long valley surrounded by the majestic Teton mountains and "Jackson" refers to the town which is the county seat of Teton County, Wyoming and the only incorporated municipality in the county. Jackson is a popular tourism destination because of its proximity to Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, its unmatched scenic beauty, the world-class skiing, and its Western character.
Travel along the scenic Jenny Lake loop of the Tetons. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Tetons at several picture stops, including Jenny Lake overlook before arriving at The Craig Thomas Visitor Discovery Center for an overview of the history, culture and geology of the Tetons. Now we continue on for a short visit in the town of Jackson where you can peruse the local art, shops and restaurants. A cold scoop or two of ice cream is always a hit on a warm summer day!
3. Choose and schedule your own activities: you must make your own individual reservations for any activities directly with Jackson Lake Lodge activities desk personnel. Activity choices may include: horseback riding, Snake River scenic float trips (with or without meals), scenic boat trips on Jackson Lake (with or without meals) and guided lake fishing. Call early to book your activity since spaces fill up quickly. Contact www.gtlc.com/activities or call 307-543-3100 or 307-543-2811.
Say farewell and bid your fellow travelers and Tour Director safe journeys as we close our tour together and reflect on the memories and milestones of our trip together. (Mural Room, resort attire). Farewell Dinner.
Evening free to take a walk, swim in the outdoor heated pool (June, July and August), watch for wildlife, or just relax in the Grand Lobby of the Lodge. Check the lobby information board for special evening presentations or activities.
Day 10: Independent departures from Jackson Lake Lodge to the airport (please make arrangements with the hotel for shuttle times).
Book your fun-filled adventure on line or if you prefer, please give us a call and we’d be happy to help! Some tours sell out very quickly, so you may want to hold a space. PST is glad to hold a space for you for up to three days with no obligation.
Deposit: 50% deposit is due the day of booking.
Final payment: Due 60 days prior to the start date of the tour. If full final payment has not been received by the due date, Prairie Spirit Tours may cancel the reservation without notice. Please see our Terms and Conditions policy for detailed refund information.
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Prairie Spirit Tours
211 Founders Park Drive,
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
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